Susan's Blog

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Marx Beledi

Sorry, must switch channels. I need a sequin fix. I woke up obsessed with raqs beledi again. Thank God!
Here is my favorite these days:

It’s weird; it keeps changing on me. There are so many days lately where I look at my two garment boxes filled with cossies and I think, “I guess I should sell these.” Because I have not really been wearing them much for dancing, and I haven’t even been dancing much. For one thing, it’s so cold in my living room! For another, all the cossies need repair and so in order to wear them I have to get Ned to safety pin them onto me. You can imagine how he likes that: “Ow!” “Hold still!” I got to get out my sewing kit: maybe today; we have no vacation plans for the day (it’s the kids’ vacation).

For another thing, I feel discouraged with my belly. I dance with two mirrors propped up: one long one facing me and a shorter one for side views. I do this to check form, but I can’t help but think, “jeez,” sometimes.

I wish and wish that things were different in the media. Everywhere you look is plastic and stretched. There is so little space for a past-40 or 50 to stand. (and guess what? I’m going to be in L.A. on Thursday and Friday! D’oh!)

I realized the other day that I was actually feeling ashamed of my changing face. I was glad to realize this because I stopped right away. But I see how easy it is to buy into the thin/young paradigm.

Ned is so thoroughly sick of hearing me run myself down that he’s halfway ready to divorce me.

On my bellydance website so many of the dancers are thin young things; every part is smooth and flawless. I feel jealous on so many levels: mostly, how did they know at such a young age that this is what they wanted to do? How did they have the confidence at 20 that I only now have at 46? Why didn’t I learn and perform when I was younger? I can’t do it now, I just feel like I can’t. But I also feel like I could. I do routines now for entire songs, song after song, that look really really good. Especially when I just forget this self-hate and I just hear the music and pretend I’m surrounded by happy people. Then, I smile, clap my hands over my head, and I know just what to do, move-by-move. It rarely happens when Ned is filming me. There is too much to be self-conscious about at those times and you cannot be self-conscious and perform well.

That is why I love bellydance so much. I have always been pathologically self-conscious. In a debilitating way. And so bellydance is actually teaching me how to drop it. By making myself so vulnerable, I am forced to be strong.

So it was good today, to wake up and think about dancing and to feel myself making some of the good old isolations and moves, even in my pajamas. I feel a little like Groucho: Today I saw a bellydancer, in my pajamas! What she was doing in my pajamas, I’ll never know!


Hey, snap out of it! It’s winter blahs, and the only cure is spring. Hands up: who feels pasty and is intimidated by her own flabalanche? Are you visualizing all the hands? Good. Now fix your cossies and carry on. Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 10:00 am

Susan, I am feelin’ your pain. I personally know in my heart of hearts I need to work out to truly feel good and I haven’t for a couple of weeks. On top of that all my older sisters, one being unemployed for the time being, and one without little ones, have been on a fitness bandwagon for the last several months and probably look way better than me. Not that I’m competing, but…..
You know, I keep trying to think summer is only about 4 months away! Do something lard ass! (That’s to me, not you!)
Go fix your cossies and do what makes ya happy!

— added by Bonnie on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm

My dad always says (jokingly) that getting older ain’t for sissies! I find it hard looking in the mirror and seeing wrinkles. I still see myself as a trim 30-something, pre-pregnancies. There’s a sadness to it. But you inspire me to check into the belly dancing group here — maybe this year I’ll have the nerve?

— added by Nancy on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 7:03 pm

I love that song that she’s dancing to – I think of it as “my song” sometimes.

Realistically, you CAN perform. You can perform at haflis, in competitions, at any bellydance-centric event. These do not demand a perfect body. I plan to dance at these kinds of events long after I am no longer commercially viable. Right now for example I cannot perform for the general public but I am still doing some haflis and recitals.

If you feel underconfident about your body, try a dress costume, or a body stocking (I am buying one myself). They look elegant and very Egyptian.

Also, go watch some Fifi Abdou videos – she is no tiny woman and she isnt young anymore either – she looks great. also, Aneena does beautiful veilwork – and is in her 70s.

— added by Shannon Brooke Davis on Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm

2 funerals this week. Both young people. Getting older is a better alternative.

— added by Anonymous on Friday, February 20, 2009 at 5:38 am